Verdict: Filled with rich characters, RUNES is a charming story paranormal love story.
A young teenage girl is drawn to a mysterious stranger in this sweet, paranormal romance.
Lorraine (Raine) Cooper is by most accounts a normal teenaged girl. She has normal teenaged problems, like an unyielding crush on her best guy friend, Eirik, and a missing father. As far as Raine knows, her life is maybe a little boring, but very ordinary. All of that changes when Torin St. James, a mysterious, attractive teenaged boy moves into the house next door. Raine and Torin are drawn together like magnets, but association with him means learning more about who, and what, he is. Suddenly nothing is as normal as Raine believed and the truth about everyone, including herself, is called into question.
While RUNES very obviously pulls from the current big names in the YA genre (Twilight and The Mortal Instruments especially), the characters are Wallers’ own. Torin St. James is not Edward Cullen, even if a lot of his actions are similar to those of the vampire. Raine is not Clary Fray even though her back story is eerily similar to that character’s. The main things Wallers pulls were situational tropes. The similarities are obvious enough to throw a reader out of the story a bit, but it’s a testament to Wallers’ ability as a writer that they don’t harm the story, that the charm of the characters is able to save it.
Wallers has a firm grasp on how to write a teenaged girl. Raine is the quiet, bookish swimmer that people like but don’t necessarily know. She’s always been in love with her best friend and doesn’t understand the pull she feels to this new boy. Since the novel is written in Raine’s head, it’s even more impressive how well her friends are drawn. Cora, Raine’s best female friend has secrets that the reader identifies way before Raine. All of the characters are so well crafted, they feel real. They make the derivativeness of the plot forgivable.
Filled with rich characters, RUNES is a charming story paranormal love story.